Sunday, October 09, 2005

The agony of the feet

I was all set to take a picture of my feet for Mim's contest - bare feet? I'm there! I hate shoes in general and go barefoot almost always, settling for very comfortable slip ons when I really, really have to have something there for protection.

That was, until this afternoon, when I stepped down off a curb the wrong way. Instant, searing pain. This made getting back into my car and using the clutch rather tricky. Cursing my decision to check the mailbox via car rather than on foot, I gingerly used my toe, all the while gritting my teeth. Got thirty feet and into the garage and I was home. Ice, elevation, and rest for a while, then I figured I'd slap an ACE bandage on it for a few days and be done with it. Then I noticed that there was one, lone bruise on the top of my foot, not near the ankle. Ankle isn't swollen at all, and when I put weight on my foot the pain is on the top outside part of my foot - right where that bruising is. When I press there, it hurts like a $#%.

Dan and I decided I should go to our walk-in clinic that is available when my GP doesn't have office hours. Called them and was told to go to the ER since the clinic doesn't have an x-ray machine. That's when we sat down and really thought about what to do next. You see, the last time a family member went to the ER (younger son, deep cut on the eyelid that needed closure, trip to the ER on the advice of our pediatrician) it cost us almost $400, even with insurance. All I could think of is just how much x-rays, the cost of having someone read the x-rays, plus any wrapping or casting that might need to be much would that end up costing us? That's money we really don't have, money that would have to go on a credit card and get paid back later. All when this could be a simple sprain that some rest and compression would take care of in time whether I go and see anyone or not.

It kills me that in a country full of such bounty and wealth that I even have to think about whether I should go to the doctor when injured, that money even comes into the equation. I am reminded of years ago when I sold my stereo to a pawn shop so I could get a prescription filled - one I desperately needed - because I had no insurance. It's so incredibly wrong that health care isn't equally available to everyone, that there are people who can't afford to be healthy at all.

I didn't go to the ER. Tomorrow I'll go to my family doctor and hopefully get wrapped up in a nice ACE bandage and sent on my way. It's most likely a sprain, but I'd like to be sure and get it wrapped up properly regardless. Very grateful tonight that I do have insurance, not so happy that I had to think through when and how to get treatment, regardless.